Each week I am going to have a blog post dedicated to a specific herb, mainly herbs you probably haven't heard of before. I'm calling this series....HERB OF THE WEEK.
This week, the herb I chose to highlight is WILD LETTUCE. When people think of lettuce they first think of a head of lettuce, a salad and so on. However, this type of "lettuce" isn't lettuce at all. Wild Lettuce is closely related to the dandelion, but packs more of a punch!
This week I was talking with a friend and we were discussing pain relief and anti-stress / anxiety relief and I brought up Wild Lettuce. He had never heard of Wild Lettuce before and as soon as I showed him a picture, he instantly knew what it was. Growing up as a kid in Iowa, he said that "that weed was everywhere". He said that Wild Lettuce grew in most backyards (assuming you didn't spray for weeds), in the cracks of sidewalks, and in the woods and if you were to pull it (or weed it) and the stem (or stalk) would break, a white, milky, puss-like substance would come oozing out and it would make your fingers and hands itch a tiny bit and become numb for a period of time.
That milky substance is known as lactucarium. This substance has a sedative-like / pain relieving effect and if used in excess can put you in a mild euphoric or hallucinogenic state of mind. That's why some even like to think of it as the "poor mans opium". I prefer to think of this herb as "natures best pain reliever".
Benefits of Use: